Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just say No

So this week I've had a little more free time than I've had for the past few months, and I got a little worried: "Will I have enough money to eat? Is this the end of Goodputty?" :)

So I decided to post my profile on more creative databases online. I've had a profile on coroflot since I was a uni student and I get one or two offers of work a year from it. I figured this creative database thingy should be helpful during lulls in workload.

I found two listed in a reputable magazine and joined up. The part I hate most about these sites is that I have to upload my portfolio. So I end up just uploading 4 or 5 pieces of work. This probably doesn't really help, but when I find a project I'm interested in I'll just refer the buyer to my website.

Truth be told, I think most buyers prefer to work with people from the same country, ie. US, cuz, well, you don't know what these unscrupulous and untrustworthy Asians might do. That's how I lost out on one of the projects I was quite interested in. Our prices were pretty close to each other (and I'm not gonna accept that the other designer's work is better as a reason :P), but the designer was from US, as was the buyer.

Anyway, to the main point of the post. I bid on another project a few days ago, and I got a reply asking for a mockup. Now this put me in a dilemma. I did want the project, but I don't do mockups if I'm not guaranteed a project. This is like pitching, something ad agencies love to do, but which I hate. But then, ad agencies spend RM5000 on a pitch, for a chance to win a RM500,000 account, so, well, they're entitled to do it. And they do get paid for pitches sometimes.

Sending pre-contract mockups aka spec work (defined as producing a piece for a potential client with no guarantee that your work will be chosen and/or paid for - No!Spec) is not something that I've just decided against out of whim or arrogance. It's an actual issue that affects the design industry and undermines its value.

Facts are: I see a project I'm interested in, I contact the buyer detailing how I can benefit him with my work. He replies and asks me to do some work before he can decide if he will pay me. What a raw deal! Imagine that he has 10 designers sending him mockups. He has at least 10 designs to choose from, all for free. Most of them will also be of a quality good enough to send for final print. He has an idea - just take that, send it to the printer, and print. No charge to him at all.

It sounds fair for someone to know what your ideas are. But you have to be adequately compensated for it. Do you go to a restaurant and ask to sample each dish before you decide what you want to eat? No, you look at words or you look at pictures on the menu. In the same way, I ask potential clients to look at my portfolio to see the quality and style of my work before I do anything at all for them. Time is money, and I value my time and expertise too much to give away for free.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Stuff. And money!

Went to New Zealand Natural in The Curve a couple of weeks ago to get chocolate ice cream with chocolate sprinkles. That's my standard order at every ice cream shop I visit. And New Zealand Natural's chocolate ice cream (Chocolate Ecstasy, or that brownie flavoured one) is really awesome.

But, dammit! They don't serve choc sprinkles anymore! How disappointing is that?

(I still bought - and enjoyed - the choc ice cream plain anyway)


I just heard... an English paper ran an article on those exclusive London nightclubs and how much people spend there. They also printed a copy of a receipt which contained orders of Cristal champagne - 49 bottles and 6 magnums - among others!

The bill for all that - ONE bill, mind you - was £26728.33 and the tip was £2969.

...course a few quid from there would be used to clean up the champagne spray-filled walls, but who bloody cares?

Who wants to own an exclusive London nightclub put up their hands.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I love Borders

Went to Borders yesterday to look for a corner cutter, but they didn't sell them. So I just started browsing through some books to pass the time. I stayed away from the Basheer section cuz I knew I didn't have any money to get anything but would be sorely tempted to anyway.

Now I usually don't browse much in bookstores other than Times cuz I have their membership card and I get a discount every time I purchase something. Besides which, at the end of every year, they send me a whole list of what books I've bought from them so I can send it in to the LHDN (it is the LHDN, right?). Which is why I didn't pay much attention to the majority of books in Borders, but headed straight to the BARGAIN section.

Woohoo, I love a bargain, don't you?

Anyway, I'm so pleased... I walked out of there with 3 books which only cost me RM60! Two as presents for my lil sis and cousin, and one dog book for myself...mmmmm...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Green Fairy

"The first stage is like ordinary drinking, the second when you begin to see monstrous and cruel things, but if you can persevere you will enter in upon the third stage where you see things that you want to see, wonderful curious things." "Absinthe has a wonderful colour, green. A glass of absinthe is as poetical as anything in the world. What difference is there between a glass of absinthe and a sunset?" - Oscar Wilde

After reading that, who wouldn't be even slightly curious as to what this green fairy does to your mind? How about this?

"Let me be mad, mad with the madness of Absinthe, the wildest, most luxurious madness in the world." - Marie Corelli

According to Fairies World, the appeal of Absinthe to the creative person (I say creative because they were the only ones to write about it) is the contradiction of its properties and what it does to the mind. It contains a formidable amount of alcohol which is a depressant, but also contains herbal subtances which stimulate the brain keeping it clear and aware of thoughts going through it.

This line from the article sums it up perfectly:

Alcohol relaxes inhibitions and invites in new ideas, and the stimulants allow you to logically process the new data.

Hey, if Wilde and Toulouse-Lautrec were fans of it, look at their work and tell me you're not tempted to fall in love with the fairy? Oh, make sure you have someone with you though, or you might wake up one morning, not with a hangover or an ugly creature in bed, but with one less ear.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

To Tim

I finally dropped by your blog today and am so honoured and touched that this blog, my website and my side project are all linked from yours :P Many thanks, mate.

I liked your post on the sexy dance contest, by the way. Made me chuckle out loud.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Malaysia, a developed country?

I didn't realise it'd been so long since I last posted till Mumsy Bumsy pointed it out. I've had lots of things on my mind, but not ones that I particularly wanted to talk about on this blog.

I wish restaurants/bars/clubs/pubs would ban smoking indoors. I know lots of you out there are gasping in shock and disgust, but it's such a bad habit, and smoking does not only affect you, but non-smokers. I know you've all heard this a million times, but doesn't this phrase then come to mind - "truth prevails"?

If Malaysia is so keen to be modernised, advanced and considered a developed country, why not follow their good examples? The UK and Australia have already enforced a ban on smoking indoors, even in pubs (UK). I'm not very clear on Australian rules or how it's like in America, but I know for sure that smoking is banned virtually everywhere indoors in the UK. And that's a great thing. How many smokers are killing non-smokers slowly? This is not like drinking alcohol, where it only affects the drinker. Smoking affects EVERYONE.

Why am I so upset about this? Because every time I go out to party or to have fun, I come home coughing, my clothes stink and I feel so unwell. Out of the 7 months that have passed this year, I have NOT COUGHED for 2 months.

Do I have to make myself sick in order to have fun with my friends?